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Quinoa from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) s a flowering plant in the Amaranthaceae family.It is an herbaceous annual plant grown primarily as a crop for its edible seeds; the seeds are richer in protein,dietary fiber,B vitamins, and dietary minerals than many grains.Quinoa is not a grass, but a pseudograin botanically related to spinach and amaranth (Amaranthus spp.),originating in the Andes region of northwestern South America. It was first used for livestock 5,200-7,000 years ago and was eaten by humans 3,000-4,000 years ago in the Lake Titicaca basin in Peru and Bolivia.The plant thrives at high altitudes and produces protein-rich seeds.Almost all production in the Andean region is done by small farms and associations.Its cultivation has spread to more than 70 countries, including Kenya, India, the United States and European countries.Quinoa crop prices tripled between 2006 and 2014 due to increased popularity and consumption in North America, Europe and Oceania.
The quinoa species was first described by Carl Ludwig Willdenow (1765 – 1812), a German botanist who studied the plants of South America,and was brought back by explorers Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland .The genus name quinoa is composed of two words from the Greek χήν,-νός, goose, and πόδῖον, podion "little foot" or "goose foot," because of the resemblance of the leaves to the crow's feet traces.The specific epithet quinoa is borrowed from the Spanish quinua or quinoa,itself from Quechua kinwa.The Incas nicknamed quinoa chisiya mama, which means "mother of all grains" in Quechua.
Quinoa is a dicotyledonous annual plant, usually about 1-2 meters (3-7 feet) tall.It has broad, often powdery, hairy, lobed leaves, often arranged in alternating rows.The woody central stem is branched or unbranched, depending on the variety, and may be green, red, or purple.Flowering panicles emerge from the top of the plant or along the leaf axils of the stem.Each panicle has a central axis from which arises a third axis (globular) bearing flowers (maranth-shaped) or bearing flowers.These are small, incomplete, sessile flowers of the same color as the sepals, and have pistils and complete forms.Female flowers are generally located at the proximal end of the glomerulus and intact at the distal end of the glomerulus.A perfect flower has five sepals, five anthers and a superior ovary with two to three stigmatic branches.The green hyponyms have a simple perianth and are usually self-pollinating,although cross-pollination occurs.In natural settings, betaine helps attract animals to produce higher pollination rates and ensure or improve seed dispersal.The fruit (seed) is about 2 mm (1⁄16 in) in diameter and varies in color from white to red or black, depending on the variety.With regard to the "new" development of salt tolerance in quinoa, several studies have concluded that the accumulation of organic osmolytes plays a dual role in the species.They provide osmoregulation and,in addition, protect against oxidative stress in photosynthetic structures in developing leaves.The study also showed that the reduction of stomatal density in response to salinity levels is an important defense that optimizes water-use efficiency under the given conditions of possible exposure.
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